Batman (1966) – The Ring of Wax, and Give ‘Em the Axe

The Riddler (Frank Gorshin delightfully chewing scenery) is back in The Ring of Wax. Written by Jack Paritz and Bob Rodgers, this episode first debuted on 30 March, 1966.

The Riddler and his gang steal a Batman statue from a wax museum leaving behind a recording for Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) to attempt to figure out the villain’s plan. It seems the wax figure has been made out of a new wax which included a powerful corrosive banned in the United States.

Riddler is going to use that corrosive to break into the Gotham Library vault to steal a book on lost Incan treasures, as he’s convinced he will be able to recover them.

Observing the quiet rules of the library, Batman and Robin arrive to stop him, and, of course, end up in major fisticuffs that had to be pretty noisy, especially for a library.

As the Caped Crusaders tumble onto more of Riddler’s plan, a clue leads them to the wax museum. Surprise, surprise, Riddler and his baddies are waiting and get the drop on them just in time for the end of the episode!

Our heroes are tied up and suspended above a vast cauldron of bubbling wax, Riddler intends to kill them both, and turn them into wax statues, donating them to the wax museum!

Will they escape? Can Riddler really find the lost Incan treasures – that can’t be in Gotham though, can they?

No matter the story, Frank Gorshin brings it every time he slips into the Riddler’s costume, and his portrayal makes each appearance shine!

Batman and Robin easily escape, because, of course, they are left to their own devices while waiting for their death. Even as they are observed by Riddler on his candle-scope, they are able to make the baddie believe they were killed escaping his trap. Give ‘Em the Axe aired on 31 March, 1966 and was also written by Paritz and Rodgers.

As Batman and Robin work on trying to track down where the Incan treasure could be, Riddler is one step ahead, having discovered that yes, it is in Gotham, in the museum, in an ancient sarcophagus!

Our heroes race to the museum to stop the villain, but they are already inside, and only Robin is small enough to fit through the vent at the top of the building, so up he goes and promptly gets captured.

Thank goodness all Batman has to do is drive around to the back of the museum and use the bat-ram on the Batmobile to burst through and beat the crap out of Riddler and his pals, and rescue his old chum, the Boy Wonder.

With the police arriving just in time for the clean-up, Batman and Robin can slip into their alter-egos of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson to enjoy an afternoon at the museum with Aunt Harriet (Madge Blake).

Join us next time on this same bat-channel as we continue our foray through season one of Batman!

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